This article critically examines the question of whether poverty has been reduced in recent years, and if so, whether this is a result of neoliberal and/or globalisation friendly policies. The first section problematises at least some claims made for poverty reduction and the second section questions any causal link between ‘pro-globalisation’ policies and poverty reduction. The third and final section considers in detail the nature of the contemporary global economy, and in examining the evidence concerning capital flows shows how, contrary to the claims made by neoliberals and some globalisation theorists, capital is not dispersing throughout the world. Moreover, even when the ‘correct policies’ are adopted, this is unlikely to happen. I then conclude by suggesting why ‘actually existing globalidation’ does not alleviate, and may indeed intensify, global inequalities.
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